Social mission

Founded in 1999, the Entreprise sociale en santé mentale (ESSM) is a socio-economic company whose mission is to socially and professionally integrate adults with serious mental health issues into the community. By promoting their socio-professional integration it allows these people to:

  • gain access to an active worker’s role;
  • empower themselves;
  • build upon and develop their potential as both a person and a professional.

 ESSM has become a model for socio-professional integration in Quebec, Canada, the United States and Europe. ESSM currently has 45 employees, 65 % of which are affected by a mental health problem.

 The Entreprise sociale en santé mentale strives to mimic the CEFEC’s European intervention and social integration model, which defines social enterprises as being: “small or medium businesses with a maximum of 30 employees, through which people with or without a handicap work together in conditions resembling the regular job market. These social enterprises supply products and services to the market on competitive terms. The main difference between a social enterprise and a regular company lies in its mission: it is not there to maximise profits, but rather to create jobs for handicapped people.”[1] The social enterprise therefore transforms social services costs into investments, through the creation of employment for those who would normally be excluded on a social and economic level.

 In order to allow people with mental health problems to access an active worker’s role, the ESSM has committed to its first economic mission, namely the development and manufacture of Collection Innova, a line of adaptive garments for people experiencing a loss of independence. Since 2007, the ESSM has been selling adaptive clothing thanks to boutiques such as Chic chez vous. All profits go towards the improvement and fulfilment of our social mission.

[1] Loose translation